Special Olympics Canada | Olympiques Spéciaux Canada
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1968 The year Special Olympics was founded

by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

19,645 volunteers

and coaches deliver Special Olympics programs in hundreds of communities across Canada

Team Canada

Training and Certification

Learn to teach

Becoming a coach with Special Olympics has many rewards. Along the way, we are always here to help. Our training programs are designed to ensure that you are able to meet the needs of any athlete involved in our organization with both confidence and skill.

Special Olympics Canada sees our volunteers coaching in two main environments; those that are preparing athletes for provincial/territorial, national and world games, and those who will work with athletes in the community who wish to be active for life.

For this reason, we provide coach education that focuses on reaching the potential of both athletes and coaches in these two sporting environments.

Our coach education program provides workshops for coaches in both the community and competition contexts, giving Special Olympics coach what they need to know so they can coach a Special Olympics athlete.

To receive sport technical knowledge, a Special Olympics coach must also participate in the sport-specific workshop. These workshops provide the necessary knowledge in order to coach the technical aspects of the sport.

Special Olympics Canada does not run workshops pertaining to the technical aspects of Special Olympics sports. This is accomplished through our partnerships with national sport organizations (NSOs) and provincial/territorial sport organizations (P/TSOs).

Community Stream

Coaches who enjoy working with athletes at a community level and who play sport for personal enjoyment will accomplish these goals in the Community Sport Coaching Program. This one-day course focuses on helping volunteers foster a love of sport, promote participation, and teach basic skills to beginners of all ages through a variety of activities.

This is accomplished by covering;

  • safety,
  • fun,
  • ethics,
  • teamwork,
  • values beyond the game.

For specific details on workshop content, please review the following document.
Community Stream Workshop Content (PDF)

Competition Stream

For coaches who are looking to work with athletes at various levels of domestic and international competitions the Competition Sport Coaching Program is ideal. This two-day course focuses on:

  • preparing the coach for training with athletes at local, regional, provincial, and national competitions,
  • outlining various associated disabilities,
  • the basic delivery of sport skills,
  • sport specific and competition-based fitness,
  • safety.

The goals of the Competition – Introduction Context are preparation for local, regional, or provincial competitions with the primary focus on safety, fun, fitness, fundamentals, and performance, as well as teaching the basic skills of the sport.

Following completion of all training, a coach can choose to become certified in the Competition – Introduction context through an evaluation process managed and coordinated by national sport organizations (NSO).

For specific details on workshop content, please review the following document.
Workshop Content (PDF)

Floor Hockey Module

As mentioned above, Special Olympics Canada generally only provides coach education relating to coaching athletes with an intellectual disability and relies on coaches to get their sport-specific knowledge from the governing body of the appropriate sport. However, there is no recognized national sport organization for Floor Hockey, so we undertook the process to develop a sport-specific module to fill the void. This module can be taken as a stand-alone course or it may be combined with either the SOC Community Sport-Ongoing or Competition-Introduction course. This half-day workshop focuses on:

  • the appropriate attire and equipment to be worn for floor hockey practices and games;
  • how to plan floor hockey practices;
  • the basic skills of floor hockey;
  • the rules of floor hockey.

In addition, Special Olympics Canada has produced a series of floor hockey coaching videos to assist coaches in teaching the following skills: stickhandling, passing, shooting, face-offs, defence and transitions. Links to these videos can be found below:

In the new NCCP a coach is described as:
In Training – when a coach has completed some of the required training for a context;
Trained – when a coach has completed all required training for a context;
Certified – when a coach has completed all evaluation requirements for a context.

To check your certification status, please visit http://www.coach.ca/, the official website of the Coaching Association of Canada.

Training Requirements

Coaching Young Athletes

  • SO Coaching Young Athletes Workshop
  • Fundamental Movement Skills Workshop

Community Sport – Ongoing

  • SO Community Sport – Ongoing Workshop

Competition – Introduction

  • SO Competition – Introduction Workshop

Participant Development Model (PDF)

Coach Development Model (PDF)